We’re halfway through the NBA season, and the Denver Nuggets are still the best team in the Western Conference. Get on the bandwagon, people! Now, let’s “Get More Smarter.” If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► President Trump’s nominee to be the next Attorney General is sitting before the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Confirmation hearings for William Barr are largely focused on how the former George H.W. Bush AG would handle the ongoing Robert Mueller investigation into potential collusion between Trump and Russia. The New York Times is following Barr’s confirmation hearings with live updates.
► President Trump may own the ongoing federal government shutdown, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are more-than-willing partners. McConnell and pals — like Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner — are getting more attention as enablers of Trump’s disastrous policies.
As Colorado Public Radio reports, Colorado Democrats are pushing hard for an end to the shutdown:
As the country entered the fourth week of the partial government shutdown, Colorado’s Democratic delegation to Congress had a unified message for Republican leadership: End the shutdown now. Discuss border security later.
U.S. Reps. Ed Perlmutter, Diana DeGette, Jason Crow, Joe Neguse and Sen. Michael Bennet held a news conference Monday at Denver International Airport that overlooked airport security, where Transportation Security Administration workers served travelers without pay.
There are more than 15,000 federal employees that are furloughed or working without pay in Colorado.
The legislators emphasized that if the Democratic House majority and the Republican Senate majority work together, they can end the partial government shutdown without President Trump’s approval.
Meanwhile, stories about the local impact of the shutdown continue to dominate headlines here in Colorado. The City of Denver is offering grants for federal workers to help them make mortgage payments.
► As the New York Times reports, a federal judge has blocked the Trump administration’s attempts to put a citizenship query on the next U.S. Census questionnaire:
The ruling marks the opening round in a legal battle with potentially profound ramifications for federal policy and for politics at all levels, one that seems certain to reach the Supreme Court before the printing of census forms begins this summer.
In a lengthy and stinging ruling, Judge Jesse M. Furman of the United States District Court in Manhattan said that Wilbur L. Ross Jr., the commerce secretary, committed “a veritable smorgasbord” of violations of federal procedural law when he ordered the citizenship question added.
Mr. Ross “failed to consider several important aspects of the problem; alternately ignored, cherry-picked, or badly misconstrued the evidence in the record before him; acted irrationally both in light of that evidence and his own stated decisional criteria; and failed to justify significant departures from past policies and practices,” Judge Furman wrote.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Openly-racist Iowa Rep. Steve King is finally being corralled — somewhat — by Republican Congressional leaders. As Politico reports:
House GOP leaders moved to strip embattled Rep. Steve King from his committee assignments on Monday, part of wave of congressional action over recent racist comments by the Iowa Republican.
King will lose his seat on three panels, including the Judiciary Committee for which he served as chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
House Democrats will also hold at least one floor vote this week denouncing King after he defended the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” during a New York Times interview.
► The issue of oil and gas drilling in Colorado and its relation to public health and safety took another turn on Monday when the Colorado Supreme Court issued an industry-friendly ruling in the landmark case of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission v. Martinez.
► Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is staffing up in advance of a likely run for President.
► The federal government shutdown is responsible for 20% of unemployment benefit claims in Colorado.
► State lawmakers are considering a bill to restrict the flying of drones over wildfires.
► The Colorado Springs Independent looks at early fundraising numbers for Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers in advance of April’s municipal elections.
► Denver teachers are moving closer to a strike.
► The Colorado Independent examines the first batch of education-related legislation at the State Capitol.
► To Brexit or Not to Brexit is the question in Great Britain today.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► President Trump is still trying to sell the idea that he can personally relate to people not getting a paycheck because of the government shutdown.
► President Trump served up a fast food feast while hosting the Clemson football team at the White House. The Internet was very amused.
► President Trump’s political base of white, working-class voters may finally be starting to abandon him as the federal government shutdown continues.
► Even children understand that you don’t make great efforts to hide something unless you are really nervous that it might be found.